LOS CABOS, Mexico (Feb. 6, 2009)—Despite a challenging U.S. economy in 2008, Hankook Tire America Corp. reported its U.S. total tire sales rose 6 percent, topping $700 million for the first time.
Greg Pae, president of Hankook Tire America, said the Wayne, N.J.-based tire marketer's largest gains in 2008 came from the ultra-high performance, touring, light truck and medium truck tire segments.
Pae said many customers who are used to buying first tier brands will be willing to spend extra time to find the same quality of tires while spending less.
In 2008, Hankook's five tire plants combined produced more than 73 million tires, Pae said, and the firm expects to build 78 million tires by year-end 2009 despite a global economic slowdown.
Pae said his goal is for Hankook to achieve $800 million in sales this year and surpass $1 billion by 2011.